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A new tool for pricing used IT equipment

Patrick Thibodeau | Aug. 5, 2015
An electronics recycler has created an IT products database representing 9,000 manufacturers and 11 million equipment models. The products range from consumer to business equipment, such as network storage devices, routers, switches, as well as servers, PCs and office machines.

Houghton hopes the BlueBook ultimately leads to more business, but it may also help consumers keep older equipment in use for a longer period.

People and businesses interested in selling used equipment have a variety of options. There are services such as Gazelle, which buys equipment, and MarkITx, which connects buyers and sellers in a sophisticated exchange.

David Daoud, an analyst at Compliance Standards, said Sage is responding to a vacuum in the electronics secondary market, particularly among SMBs.

"The transparency issue over the cost has always been a sore point for CIOs," Daoud said. There is "very little trust" in the secondary market for used electronics.

One of the problems with electronics is the velocity of price changes. For instance, an asset may have a certain value just up until the time that a new OS is released that changes hardware requirements. What will be difficult is tracking prices over time, Daoud said.

Selling or recycling used electronics is better than doing nothing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put the percentage of recycled electronics at somewhere between 30 percent and 40 percent.

If electronics, such as cell phones, are not recycled, "some get tossed into the trash, but they are more commonly put into a drawer," said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, whose members include a wide range of environmental groups, in an email.

Electronics that get tossed into a drawer or closet become too old to reuse.

"It's important to act soon after you replace a phone and not wait until it's too old and obsolete," Kyle said. "Give, or sell, the old one to an entity that will refurbish and reuse the phone and get a second and maybe a third life out of the resources that went into making that phone," she said.

 

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